• Q1 net profits leap by 89% to US$115m
  • Sales in three months to end of March inch up by 1% to $1.87bn
  • Operating profits jump by 66% to $184m
  • Reiterates FY EPS growth of around 10%
Coca-Cola Enterprises saw its volumes dip in Q1

Coca-Cola Enterprises saw its volumes dip in Q1

Coca-Cola Enterprises has reported healthy profits in the first quarter of 2014, but struggling volumes tempered the performance.

The company, Coca-Cola’s anchor bottler for Western Europe, said earlier today (24 April) that net profits in the three months to the end of March increased by 88.5% to US$115m. Net sales rose, just, by 1.1% to $1.87bn as operating profits jumped by 65.8% to $184m.

The marked lift in profits compares to a 44% fall in net profits and 54% plunge in operating profits in the first quarter of 2013.

Total volumes in the quarter slipped, however, by 1.5%, with a 9% fall in UK volumes cancelling out a 3.5% lift in continental Europe. The UK performance was blamed on "competitive conditions, the transition from 2-litre PET bottles to 1.75-litre PET bottles, and wet weather".

“Our results for the first quarter, our smallest of the year, were impacted by a combination of operating and marketplace factors and the timing of the Easter holiday,” said CCE chairman & CEO John Brock.

“As we move into the important summer season, we believe our solid marketing and operating initiatives ... will enable us to ... reach our full-year targets."

Turning to the full year, CCE confirmed its earnings-per-share growth forecast of around 10% for 2014. Net sales are expected to grow in a low single-digit range, while operating profits are expected to grow in a mid-single-digit range.

CCE's share price rose today following the release of the results. At 1146 EDT, they were trading up 1.27% at $45.60.

To read the company's official statement, click here.